Understanding and Using Practifi Propel

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Overview

Practifi Propel is our premium analytics solution powered by Salesforce CRM Analytics. Offering new and improved ways to visualize and interact with your data, our power dashboards allow you to transform data into insight, action and excellence at scale. 

Practifi Propel provides whole-of-firm analytics rather than those tied to a specific division, advisor or client. As such, it organizes and surfaces important data in meaningful ways so executives and key decision-makers can make informed decisions regarding clients, profitability and overall business health. This article outlines the Practifi Propel add-on service and how to use the functionality available to your firm. 

Please note: Practifi Propel is an add-on service. If you'd like to learn more, please contact your Client Success Manager or Practifi contact. 

Understanding Practifi Propel

Practifi Propel is an add-on product that comprises two parts:

  • We've designed a suite of pre-built power dashboards to make analyzing firm performance over time easy and intuitive across a comprehensive array of measures (performance indicators the firm is tracking) and dimensions (ways to filter those indicators). 
  • A data processing service that takes daily performance snapshots of the firm's Practifi organization powers the rich experience in power dashboards. 

With Practifi Propel, your firm can access the first app designed specifically for executives. The Executive app makes it easy for decision-makers to access Practifi's suite of power dashboards. Each Propel subscription includes access to 10 Propel User licenses.

These licenses are for system administrators and Propel users who need to create, configure and deploy power dashboards. Capabilities include:

  • Download and print power dashboards
  • View power dashboards embedded in apps
  • Receive automated notifications
  • Share power dashboards and widgets
  • Save views
  • Access a dedicated home page for all CRM Analytics reports, usage monitoring and features
  • Use Analytics Studio to create and deploy power dashboards
  • Create watchlists
  • Go into presentation mode
  • Add annotations

Each subscription includes new organization-level capabilities, such as an additional one billion rows of data storage and access to five external data connectors. Your firm can also access Einstein Discovery and Prediction Builder through your Propel subscription. Practifi Propel cannot be purchased without a Practifi platform license, as it is built specifically to work with Practifi's data model and won't work without Practifi.

The Propel data platform connects, processes and aggregates the Practifi data model to be used by CRM Analytics. It's the pipes and foundation to retrieve deep insights into your business. Propel syncs data overnight and covers critical Practifi data objects included in the power dashboards as well as any custom objects such as:

  • Prospects
  • Clients
  • Influencers/Referrers
  • Assets
  • Holdings
  • Private Investments
  • Processes
  • Tasks
  • Deliverables
  • Services
  • Deals
  • Events
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Practifi Propel vs. Reports and Dashboards

While Practifi already includes analytics with our standard Reports and Dashboards, Practifi Propel improves on these out-of-the-box features in several ways:

  • Analyze performance as of a moment in time, not just today: Because Salesforce doesn't snapshot the records it stores, standard analytics features can only report on those records as they appear when the report is generated. Propel's approach of taking daily snapshots and storing them in a database for the dashboard to use gives you the time machine-like capability to walk back through previous snapshots and see how performance has changed day-by-day and month-by-month. 
  • A more interactive dashboard experience: The charts displayed within Propel's dashboards all talk to each other, meaning the filter selections made in one chart will impact the results you see in others. Where helpful, charts come with intuitive toggle switches that let them pull double- or triple-duty with the information they surface. Dashboards are broken up into tabs that help categorize what's on-screen and make it easily navigable. It all adds up to an engaging and compelling user experience well beyond what's possible with standard Dashboard functionality. 
  • Rich and varied visualization library: Propel takes advantage of several chart types that Reports and Dashboards don't offer, such as geo maps displaying performance as a state-based heatmap; Sankey diagrams, which show how a measure like AUM flows between two dimensions like age band and segment; and treemaps, which represent dimensions as segments within a rectangle. Taking advantage of these chart types means visualizations that make more intuitive sense to users and surface insights that previously weren't possible. 
  • Stronger secondary capabilities: Analytics is about more than the dashboards themselves. It's also about what you can do with them. Propel supercharges this area by including several additional capabilities, such as annotations with @ mentions, notifications when measures go above or below certain thresholds and an array of exporting, sharing and presenting options.

Practifi Propel Dashboards

Intuitive, expertly designed power dashboards are included with Practifi Propel so your firm doesn't have to start from scratch. They surface key business insights so key decision-makers can make informed decisions quickly. 

Practifi Propel currently includes these power dashboards:

  • Profitability: Future-proof the firm with a top-down view of annualized servicing costs, revenue and gross profit. This dashboard provides a better understanding of firm profitability by aligning annualized revenue and servicing costs. See which age bands are driving profits and monitor monthly revenue, servicing cost, gross profit and gross margin. With the Profitability dashboard, your firm can identify ways to increase efficiency and lower operating costs as well as see which advisors are the most productive and bring in the most money for your firm.
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  • Client Book: Reduce risk exposure by monitoring client demographics such as age, AUM and tenure. This dashboard provides a breakdown of AUM per age band, letting your firm monitor the number of clients per band. With the Client Book dashboard, track client and advisor tenure trends and view client breakdown per state, division and advisor.
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  • Pipeline: Ensure the firm is on track by monitoring the quality and source of new business and organic growth. Your firm can monitor prospect and deal age bands with the Pipeline dashboard. See which age bands potential AUM/revenue may come from and see the pipeline split amongst advisors.
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Every firm with a Practifi Propel subscription will have access to new power dashboards and upgrades as these become available. 

Locations

Practifi Propel's dashboards can be found in Practifi role-based apps as dashboard pages, allowing easy access from the app's navigation menu. The Executive app has been introduced alongside Propel to provide an appropriate home for the dashboards available at launch. This app can be accessed from the App Launcher, and each of the dashboards named above is accessible as a menu item within the app. If users wish to access additional CRM Analytics capabilities, they can select the Graphs button in the dashboard header to open the dashboard within the Analytics page. 
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The Analytics page is only available to Propel users and can be accessed by searching for it in the App Launcher. This page provides a home for all Propel-related content, including dashboards, lenses (individual charts), notifications, watchlists and more. For additional information about the Analytics page, please consult this Salesforce Help article. 
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The Analytics Studio is also available to Propel Users and can be accessed from the App Launcher. The Studio is where all of the CRM Analytics platform's capabilities reside, which means there are more features to navigate. To access Propel dashboards, select All Items from the sidebar and locate the dashboard in the Dashboards section. Once you've opened a dashboard, it will appear on the Studio home page in the Recents section.
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Using Practifi Propel Dashboards

When using Practifi Propel dashboards, you will have several aspects of functionality available to you such as filtering and notifications. The following sections cover the separate functionalities available to you when accessing a Practifi Propel power dashboard.

Navigation

Each Practifi Propel dashboard follows an identical format to make navigation easy. They contain a sidebar that persists as you move between the dashboard's tabs, where the bulk of the visualizations appear. 

In Propel's dashboard sidebars you'll find the following functionality:

  • You'll see an arrow button at the top of the sidebar next to the dashboard's name. Clicking this button toggles the display of the dashboard options header at the top of this page. 
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  • Below the dashboard name is the snapshot selector, which determines the "as of" date for the visualizations you see as you explore the dashboard. Choose the snapshot from the drop-down menu and quickly compare the selected snapshot and today's performance using the bar chart below the drop-downs.
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  • Below the snapshot selector are the related charts for the tab, which present the chart's measures grouped by the dimensions included in the dashboard's other tabs. This means that they change as you navigate between tabs. 
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    • For example, when viewing the Demographics tab in the Client Book dashboard, the related charts in the sidebar are grouped using dimensions such as Division (which appears in Geography) and Segment (which appears in Segmentation). 
    • Selecting segments within these charts allows you to filter the ones in the main region's tabs. Since each tab only contains charts that visualize its dimensions, using the related charts for filtering is the only way to filter using dimensions outside the category. 

The main region located to the right of the sidebar displays the dashboard's currently active tab. The tabs themselves appear in the top-right corner of the dashboard. Each tab represents a group of dimensions used to filter the measures the dashboard presents:

  • Demographics: Age and Tenure
  • Segmentation: AUM Band, Segment and Source
  • Geography: State/Province
  • Team: Division and Advisor
  • Deal Breakdown (Pipeline only): Presents the Number of Deals, Deal AUM and Deal Annual Revenue measures using Deal Type, Stage and Close Date as dimensions.
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Within each tab, you'll see a range of visualizations designed to generate insights about that particular combination of measures and dimensions.

Filtering

Dashboards can be filtered by selecting certain chart segments. For example, you can select 18-20 in the AUM by Age chart to filter all visible charts by that age band. This is the way Propel dashboards are filtered in a general sense, by selecting the chart segments you wish to filter by. 

Some considerations to keep in mind when filtering dashboards:

  • The charts in the sidebar apply filtering to the ones in the main region. However, the reverse is not true. Filtering done on charts in the main region's tab only applies within the tab itself. 
  • Each tab filters itself and not the other tabs in the dashboard. This is true for the charts in the sidebar and the main region. 
  • Filter settings persist as you navigate between tabs. 
  • To reset the dashboard's filters, click the 21a9.png button in the dashboard header. 
  • Users can save a pre-filtered view of a dashboard using the dashboard header. Once the filtering you want to save has been applied to the dashboard, open the Modified drop-down menu in the dashboard header and select Save View.

Notifications

Monitoring firm performance can often mean being aware of when the business hits certain milestones, such as when high-net-worth client AUM totals a specific amount. These milestones can be tracked using notifications, which allow users to define a threshold for a measure filtered by whichever dimensions and a group of users to subscribe to the notification. That user group will be notified via email once the measures go above or below that threshold. For additional information about notifications, please consult this Salesforce Help article. 

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Please note: While the Set Notification action appears in all Practifi Propel dashboards, it is only supported in the Tracking Center dashboard. This is because the notifications set in other Propel dashboards are tied to the measure as they appear within a specific snapshot, which means it won't change even when future snapshots are taken. The Tracking Center dashboard does not use snapshots, meaning its measures continue to change over time.

Watchlists

Sometimes you don't need to be notified about a specific threshold for a measure, but you do want an easy way to know how it's changed over time. Watchlists provide this capability by surfacing snapshots of selected measures as trend charts, complete with indicators for changes across various time periods, such as the last 30, 90 and 120 days. This functionality is only available from the Analytics page or Analytics Studio.

Add a measure to your watchlist by using the Add to Watchlist action, found in Tracking Center. Measures in your watchlist reflect the filtering that was applied when you added them, but this isn't reflected in how they appear within the watchlist itself. We recommend naming the measure in a way that explains this, e.g., AUM for Platinum Clients in Illinois. For additional information about watchlists, please consult this Salesforce Help article.
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Sharing and Downloading

Practifi Propel dashboards can be shared and downloaded to share analytics across the firm. To share or download a Propel dashboard, select the Screenshot 2023-10-04 at 12.22.50 PM.png button in the dashboard header or in the chart's action menu to open the Share modal.
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This contains a number of options for sharing the dashboard itself:

  • Give Access: This option is only available from the Analytics page or Analytics Studio. Give Access does not natively work for Propel's dashboards, as their sharing settings are controlled elsewhere. However, if your firm creates custom dashboards and lenses, they can be manually shared with other users from here. 
  • Post to Feed: Send a screenshot of the dashboard via Chatter to a specific user or group. Shared images are public, so be sure you want the information to be shared with the wider business before using this option.
  • Export to Quip: This option can only be used if your firm has a Quip subscription, which is a separate product sold by Salesforce.
  • Get URL: This option is only available from the Analytics page or Analytics Studio. Get URL will generate a URL that can be shared outside of Practifi in systems such as Microsoft Teams or Outlook. The URL will only work for users with a Propel user license.
  • Download: Enables dashboards and charts to be downloaded as PNG files for external sharing. Charts can also have their source data downloaded as Excel or CSV files. 

For additional information about sharing and downloading, please consult this Salesforce Help article.

Annotations

Annotations are only available from the Analytics page or Analytics Studio. Business users may want to start a conversation with others in the company about certain charts within a dashboard or make notes that add color and context to what's being presented. The annotations feature makes this possible by creating a Chatter Feed for every element included within the dashboard.

Select the Annotate action in the drop-down menu next to a particular chart to start writing an annotation or select the 1f4ac.png button in the dashboard header to see all the annotations across the entire dashboard. Annotations include support for @ mentions and can be followed for easy tracking from the Chatter page in the Executive app. For additional information about annotations, please consult this Salesforce Help article.
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Presentation Mode

Presentation mode for Practifi Propel dashboards is only available from the Analytics page or Analytics Studio. Clicking the Screenshot 2023-10-04 at 11.57.01 AM.pngbutton in the dashboard header puts the dashboard into presentation mode. This makes the browser window full-screen and hides any other on-screen elements, such as the global navigation bar that appears above the dashboard. 
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To exit presentation mode, either use the option in your browser that exits full-screen mode or select the 274e.png button in the dashboard header.

Dashboard Measures

measure is a field your firm can track as a key performance indicator, such as AUM. The following table shows dashboard measures, which dashboard they are used in and a description of what the measure tracks.

Name Appears In Description
AUM Client Book The total value of assets under management for active clients.
Number of Clients Client Book The number of active clients.
Servicing Cost Profitability The total cost of servicing clients, based on the time logged against related Tasks, the duration of related Events and the Hourly Cost associated with the owners of those records. Requires a date range to be selected: either the last 3, 6 or 12 completed months.
Annual Revenue Profitability The projected revenue for active clients over the next 12 months. Based on the Annual Revenue field in Practifi, which supports multiple calculation options.
Annual Gross Profit Profitability Compares Servicing Cost and Annual Revenue to determine overall profitability. To ensure like-for-like comparisons, the Servicing Cost value used varies depending on the selected date range. For example, if Servicing Cost is calculated based on the last 3 months, then it will be multiplied by 4 when compared to Annual Revenue.
Annual Gross Margin  Profitability  Compares Annual Gross Profit with Annual Revenue to determine what percentage of projected revenue will be retained by the firm.
Prospect AUM Pipeline The estimated value of assets under management for prospective clients.
Prospect Annual Revenue Pipeline The estimated annual revenue that would be received from prospective clients.
Number of Prospects Pipeline

The number of prospective clients.

Deal AUM  Pipeline (Deal Breakdown tab only)

The estimated value of assets under management for all deals in the pipeline, whether new business or add-ons.

Deal Revenue Pipeline (Deal Breakdown tab only)

The estimated annual revenue that would be received for all deals in the pipeline, whether new business or add-ons.

Number of Deals Pipeline (Deal Breakdown tab only)

The number of deals in the pipeline.


Dashboard Dimensions

dimension is a segment for which the measure can be interpreted. For example, you could use Age as a dimension to see how much of your firm's potential AUM or revenue comes from the age band of 30-39. The following table shows the available dimensions, where they appear, what they mean and the available values within the system.

Name Appears In Description Available Values
Age Demographics What is the age of the client or prospect? If they're a household or organization, then the age of the primary member is used.
  • 0-17
  • 18-29
  • 30-39
  • 40-49
  • 50-59
  • 60-69
  • 70-79 
  • 80+
Tenure Demographics (Client Book & Profitability only) How many years has the client been a client for? Based on the Became Client On field.
  • 0 to 1 year
  • 1 to 2 years
  • 2 to 3 years
  • 3 to 5 years
  • 5 to 8 years
  • 8 to 10 years
  • 10+ years
Segment Segmentation (Client Book & Profitability only) The recorded Client Segment for the client.

Reflects the values in the firm's organization. Default values are:

  • Platinum
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Bronze
AUM Band Segmentation (Client Book & Profitability only) What's the total value of the client's AUM?
  • $0 - $500K
  • $500K - $1M
  • $1M - $5M
  • $5M - $10M
  • $10M - $25M
  • $25M - $50M
  • $50M+
Source Segmentation Where did the client or prospect come from? Based on the Source field.

Reflects the values in the firm's organization. Default values are:

  • Client Referral
  • Email Campaign
  • Referral
  • Team Member Referral
  • Website Enquiry
State Geography Which state or province is the client or prospect in? Based on the Postal State/Province field. Reflects the values in the firm's organization.
Division Team What's the primary division of the advisor who owns the prospect or client relationship? Based on the Related Division field. Reflects the values in the firm's organization.
Advisor Team Which advisor owns the prospect or client relationship? Based on the Owner field. Reflects the values in the firm's organization.
Deal Stage Deal Breakdown (Pipeline only) What stage is the deal at? 

Reflects the values in the firm's organization. Default values are:

  • Potential
  • Meeting Booked
  • Needs Analysis
  • Presentation
  • Closed Won
  • Closed Lost
Close Date Deal Breakdown (Pipeline only) What is the deal's estimated close date? Reflects the values in the firm's organization.
Deal Type Deal Breakdown (Pipeline only) Is the deal coming from a prospect (New Business) or a client (Add-On)?
  • Add-On
  • New Business


Data Management

CRM Analytics maintains its own database entirely separate from the one used by Practifi's core product, which allows Practifi Propel to handle large volumes of data both from within Practifi as well as external data sources if your firm builds custom analytics. Data is stored on the same servers that Salesforce uses for its core platform, meaning it is stored securely. 

Firms can rest assured that Propel has been properly certified by the same exhaustive array of compliance certifications as our core Practifi product and that all data is encrypted in transit (i.e. when moving between the server where it's stored and the device accessing it). To enable encryption at rest (i.e. encryption while the data is sitting on the server), firms will need to purchase Practifi Protect and enable it as part of their implementation. If your firm would like to purchase Practifi Protect, please reach out to your Practifi contact for additional information and pricing.

Propel includes a store allocation as part of its licensing, which is measured in terms of dataset rows. Each Propel instance includes one billion rows. Propel only snapshots records where it provides genuine analytical value. For example, clients are snapshotted because their AUM value changes over time, but tasks are not because their start and completion dates are recorded as fields on the record. If a firm reaches the storage limits of Propel, 100 million rows of additional storage may be purchased as an add-on.

Propel's dashboards are built around the concept of exploring daily and monthly snapshots of business performance. With this in mind, the data contained in the dashboards is created by a nightly processing job rather than presented as it appears in real time. Firms can create dashboards that query Salesforce objects directly rather than CRM Analytics datasets to achieve a real-time solution.

Customization

Dashboards are modified using Analytics Studio, the drag-and-drop analytics builder used to create the Propel experience. Users have full access to Analytics Studio and can make custom dashboards. To allow for continued updates to Propel dashboards, we highly recommend making a copy of a dashboard before modifying it, which can be done by using the Clone in New Tab action found in the dashboard header while in the Studio. Refraining from modifying a Propel dashboard directly and instead saving an existing one as a new version to modify will ensure that you always have a baseline to revert to if necessary. 

For a user to be able to modify a Propel dashboard, they must have the CRM Analytics Plus license assigned to them. To assign this license:

  1. Navigate to Salesforce Setup by selecting the settings cog in the upper right-hand corner of Practifi and click Setup from the drop-down menu.
  2. Use the Quick Find search bar on the left-hand side to search for and select Company Information.

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  3. Scroll down to the Permission Set Licenses section and select the Go to list option to open the full page of permission set licenses. 
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  4. From the list, select the CRM Analytics Plus option. 
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  5. Select the Assign Users option at the top of the page.
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  6. Select the checkbox to the left of the user's name on the user list and then select Assign to add this license to the user. 
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The user will also need the CRM Analytics Plus Admin permission set assigned to them. To add this permission set: 

  1. Use the Quick Find search bar in Salesforce Setup to search for and select Permission Sets
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  2. Select the Permission Set Label for the CRM Analytics Plus Admin permission set. 
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  3. Select the Manage Assignments button. 
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  4. On the Current Assignments table, select the Add Assignments button located on the right-hand side. 
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  5. Select the checkbox located to the left of the user's name and then select Next
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  6. Select Assign to finish assigning this permission set. 
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The designated users will now have access to the Analytics Studio app from the App Launcher. This is where modifications to Propel dashboards can be made. To modify a dashboard, find and select the Browse tab in the left-hand navigation menu in the Analytics Studio app.

On this page, you will see a list of various components that make up Practifi Propel. Select the Dashboards option to filter the list and see a list of available Pracitfi Propel dashboards. Click the title of the dashboard you would like to modify and select the Clone in New Tab option before making any adjustments. 

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After cloning the dashboard, we recommend using keyboard shortcuts wherever possible in dashboard development. To view the dashboard header in the cloned dashboard, use the following steps:

  • Press the E key on your keyboard. This will toggle the cloned dashboard between preview and edit mode. 
  • In Preview mode, expand the show/hide dashboard options.
  • Select Edit or press E on your keyboard again. 

The dashboard header will display and allow you to make edits to the cloned dashboard. For additional information on keyboard shortcuts available to you while building CRM Analytics dashboards and lenses, please consult this Salesforce Help article. To learn more about how to use Analytics Studio, we recommend this set of Salesforce Trailhead projects and modules. 
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Sometimes, a complex multi-chart dashboard isn't necessary, and a single chart meets your immediate needs. In that situation, you can create a lens by selecting a dataset from the Browse section of the Analytics Studio home page. For additional information about creating lenses and apps (a collection of lenses, dashboards and datasets designed around a common purpose), please consult this Salesforce Trailhead unit.

Propel allows access to five external data sources, which include providers such as Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google BigQuery. Once these data sources are connected, they can be queried by lenses and dashboards like Salesforce direct queries.

Apps can be shared with business users using precise access controls. For information on the app sharing model and how to share them, please consult this Salesforce Help article. Sharing apps will only work when shared with Propel users.

 

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